Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Challenge Painting #182: Diamond in the Rough of Salt Wells HMA in Wyoming

 Karen Strawbridge's Wyoming's Diamond in the Rough.
5 by 5 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
Karen and Bobby Strawbridge of  Tennessee have adopted a number of Mustangs and even a BLM Burro in their life time. 

In Karen's own words.
"This grey mare is our BLM mare from Salt Wells HMA Wyoming.
Diamond the first day home.
We named her Wyoming's Diamond in the Ruff. Her number is #1666. She had cuts and knots on her legs and hip bone, from the other horses beating her up. I just couldn't leave her there. So I sent the hubby home for the trailer. He thought and others I was NUTS. She was just scared silly. "God don't make bad horses.....just bad owners or situations make bad horses.
Diamond Today

The first photo of Diamond is the day we brought her home. I just could not leave her in the holding pen. The Second photo is of her now. Can you tell that she is a HAPPY MUSTANG. She has turned in to a real sweetheart! We Love her, we all do! "
...... K

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Challenge Painting #181 Miles and Robert Carlson SEMM FT Worth Texas

2011 Supreme Extreme Makeover Mustang Miles 
and  Trainer Robert Carlson

"Miles Light"
6 by 9 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

I haven't seen any recent photos of Miles until this past weekend. Its just amazing what a special horse Miles has turned out to be. When he first came to Robert Carlson he would kick at anything strange or different, which most of the time included Robert, and anything in the round pen with him. Now in just a couple of weeks Robert and Miles will be competing in the Supreme Extreme Mustang Make over in Fort Worth Texas.

Miles is like a completely different horse. Robert and Miles are going out on the trails together and Miles is facing new things with bravery where he once reacted to in fear. Thats a great accomplishment for the horse and a great credit to his trainer. This painting tonight is a close up of  Miles as Robert is riding him up a short steep incline. Miles is boldly going up it, proving the bond of  trust that exists between them.

Thanks to Amy Spivey of Lightning Bug Creek Photography for the great reference shot.

You can see more of Amy's great photography on her facebook page:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Challenge Painting #180: Desi of Sands Basin HMA in Idaho

JoAnna Lamb's Desi from Sands Basin HMA  near the Ohyhee Mountains of Idaho.

4 by 6 inch watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

I was reading up on this particular Horse Management Area and discovered that  part of its "Multiple use" is  as a huge recreational area. That means that they have a large population of humans using the area and interacting with the wild horses. I have a little more research to do on this particular HMA. When I first saw a picture of this pretty chestnut mare and where she was from I thought, she  was Sand Wash Basin HMA .  Sand Wash Basin is in Colorado.  Desi is From Idaho.

Interestingly enough the few  chestnuts of  Sands Basin HMA I have seen all have similar white markings.

One of the things that I have learned from some of the private sources aiding in the management of wild horses in the east coast, is that horses that come into frequent contact with extremely large groups of humans, usually tourists, seem to have some training issues and trust issues when they are removed from the herd.

Quite often if a horse older than 4 must be removed from the herds in the Outer Banks or North Assateague island it is deemed trainable and thus unadoptable. These horses are usually removed because of health or behavior issues caused by human contact. This was another revelation  to me of how the management differs in the West and in the more highly populated areas of the East.

The only resource for  horses over 4 deemed trainable is permanent sanctuary or euthanasia. Most groups have a small farm on the mainland to sanctuary their unadoptatble mares and band stallions.

Although no studies have been published, that I know of,  regarding negative human contact and how it affects the trainability of horses later; there is a lot of data mostly photographic and eye witness that supports it.

Having had to train domestics that were treated incorrectly by people with little or no experience with horses, I do know how difficult it is to over come things like begging food, kicking, biting and even learning to buck, when someone  who doesn't know any better tries to ride an untrained horse, because they think being use to being around people is the same as being tamed and trained. I would image that would be more difficult for a wild horse whose only knowledge of people is those who do not seem to know better.

 I'm hoping to look into this in more detail in the next few months.

There is always a fine balance between maintaining the wild behavior that protects the horses and making the horses accessible to the general public. I feel it is important that  the public can become more aware of  wild horses in their natural habitat and learn human behavior that will protect the horses. Treating wild animals like domestics and pets not only gives them negative experiences with people, but it will eventually harm them..

Friday, August 26, 2011

Challenge Painting #179: Hurricane of Sand Wash Basin HMA

"Hurricane of Sand Wash Basin"
6 by 9 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
Hurricane of Sand Wash Basin HMA
I took a lot of liberties with this painting of Hurricane. But really it was too cool of an opportunity to pass. With  Hurricane Irene baring down on Virginia this weekend it just seemed an appropriate time to do his painting. There is no specific painting that I copied of  Hurricane (the horse) But I did look at a wonderful peaceful photo of Hurricane by Nancy Roberts to check his colors and markings.

This is a work with a lot of artist license in it and it turned out exactly as I envisioned it. So I will gladly donate a portion of the sale of this painting to Nancy's tireless efforts along with many others to document all the horses in  the Sand Wash Basin HMA. Please consider its purchase. Your help is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to see more of the horses of the Sand Wash Basin, including the photo of bachelor stallion Hurricane, please link in at Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses Page on Facebook:!/pages/Sand-Wash-Basin-Wild-Horses/101181969939406

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Challenge Painting #178: 2011 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover Penny Lane

"Thundering Waves"
Penny Lane
8 by 10 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

Reference photography by Amy Spivey of Lightning Bug Creek Photography. You can see more of Amy's wonderful photography at:  Penny Lane is trained by Madeleine LeClerc for the 2011 Ft. Worth Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Challenge Painting #177: 2011 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover Penny Lane

"Dancing Thunder"
Penny Lane
6 by 9 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

Special Thanks to Amy Spivey and Lightning Bug Creek Photogrpahy for the reference shots used in these "Thunder Paintings" Please take a look at  Amy's work on her Facebook Page and don't forget to like her work.

Challenge Painting #176: 2011 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover Penny Lane

"Penny's Happy Feet"
6 by 9 inch Watercolor
by Linda L Martin Artist

Reference Photography by Amy Spivey of Lightning Bug Creek Photography
Penny Lane is being prepared by Madeleine LeClerc for the
2011 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover that will be held
in Ft Worth Texas in September.
Aspecial Thanks to Amy for all her hard work in Capturing Madeleine
and her two Supreme Makeover Mustang  Horses Penny Lane and Dessert First

Monday, August 22, 2011

Challenge Painting #175: 2011 Foals of Sand Wash Basin Isis and Kona

"Isis and Kona"
From Centauro's Band
4 by 6 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
A special Thank you to John Wagner
for today's reference photo.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Challenge Painting #174: 2011 Foals of Sand Wash Basin Meadowlark

5 by 5 inch Watercolor on Embossed Paper
by LindaLMartinArtist
Reference Photography by John Wagner

Challenge Painting #173: 2011 Foals of Sand Wash Basin Lozania

5 by 5 Watercolor on Embossed Paper
by Artist LindaLMartin
Reference Photography Sally Wright

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Challenge Painting #172: 2011 Foals of Sand Wash Basin Rocket

5 by 5 inches Watercolor on Embossed Paper
by LindaLMartinArtist
Photo Reference by Sally Wright

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Challenge Painting #171: More Fun with Dessert First AKA Desi Supreme Extreme Makeover Mustang

"Desi Tests the Trail "
10 by 5 inch Watercolor on embossed paper
by LindaLMartinArtist
Madeleine LeClerc's Desi in training for the
Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover

Reference Photography A Spivey
of Lightning Bug Creek Photography

Challenge Painting #170: 2011 Foals of Sand Wash Basin Jigsaw

"Jig Saw"
5 by 5 inches Watercolor on Embossed paper
by Linda L Martin Artist
Reference Photo by Sally Wright
Used by Permission

Friday, August 12, 2011

Challenge Painting #169 : 2 year old 2011 Kiger- Riddle Mountain round-up

2 year old Kiger
4 by 6 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

Kiger 2 year old resting in  one of  the Burns holding pens in Oregon. This youngster was rounded up during the 2011 Kiger-Riddle Mountain HMAs round-up. The Reference photograph was taken by JoAnna Lamb.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Challenge Painting #168 : Yearlings 2011 Kiger- Riddle Mountain round-up

Kiger Yearlings resting in the Burns holding Facility after the 2011 Round ups.
4 by 6 inches Watercolor on Embossed Paper
by Linda LMartin Artist


Challenge Painting #167 : Kiger Mares 2011 Kiger- Riddle Mountain round-up

"Kiger Mares"
4 by 6 inches  Watercolor on  Embossed Paper
by LindaLMartinArtist

JoAnna Lamb kindly has let me use some of the images she took at the Burns Holding Facility near Hines, Oregon  a few Weeks ago for the Kiger and Riddle Mountain round ups. Tonights  Paintings is from a shot she took of  barren mares that were gathered. They were gathered because they had no foals. One of the mares was  a gray mare with a huge square scar on her near(left) side rump almost near the top of her leg.

Mare had a large Green "G" written on her rump using live stock crayon  for some designation that no one is sure of. The mare's injury seems to be old and completely healed and she was walking sound.  These horses will be vetted and prepped for the Kiger Fest in Oregon to be held in Early October. At which time they will be offered for adoption.

A special Thanks to JoAnna for the use of the reference photos and the information on the holding facility.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Challenge Painting #166 : Adjustments Robert Carlson and Watson 2011Fort Collins EMM


Tonight for the Mustang A Day Challenge I am revisiting Watson. Watson as you might remember is the highest bid horse from the 2011 Fort Collins Mustang Makeover. Trained and competed by Robert Carlson.
Watson 2011 Ft Collins Makeover 
8 by 10 inches Watercolor on embossed paper
by LindaLMartinArtist

One can greatly appreciate the resilience of a mustang when looking back over the individual history of the each horse. When on the range they are born into the challenges of nature and no protection or intervention from man. The strongest and the healthiest survive. That Survival knowledge is passed down through their Dam, Aunts and Band Stallion.

A young horse learns very early to adapt to their circumstances. Weather is often times the first change they must face. Landscape is the second as the herd goes from location to location in search of the best most nourishing pasture. During the breeding season, generally following foaling, the young horse must learn to adapted and adjust to changes in the herd. Sometimes a new mare and her offspring will be added and sometimes the foal and his dam may be stolen by another band stallion. Quickly learning ones position in the band and adjusting to the new hierarchy is a matter of survival.

Later when they reach a certain age and development state they are forced by both the band stallion and their Dam to leave the only security they have ever known and strike out on their own. The ones who adjust the quickest soon find other horses their on their own, make connections and help each other survive. Those who can’t adjust are open to punishment and sometimes without the bonds of other horses extreme hardship in finding food and protection during the most extreme times of the year. They soon learn that there is safety and sustenance in their new surroundings.

Then comes the time when some of them are faced with a new adjustment the adjustment of confinement and separation when they are rounded up. The most resilient again adapt the quickest. There are never any guarantees that a horse going through the “gather” process will find a good trainer, a happy life, and the sweet end being loved and appreciated. This is true with every horse be they domestic or wild mustang. However in the best of circumstances those that adjust the fasted and learn the quickest find themselves quite well off and well loved.

In Watson’s case he quickly went through his times of adjustment due to good natural horsemanship and consistent treatment. Each step of the way by Robert’s development of trust with the horse brought him closer to his amazing performance at the Fort Collin’s Makeover. However that was simply the beginning. The Green broke stage as the old timers used to call it. Now for the few months past Ft Collins this amazing Mustang is receiving the polish he needs to become a Civil War reenactment horse.

This means even more adjustments. He will have adjustments to period saddle and noises, and adjustment to period bits. Even more adjustments are to crowd noises, smoke from mock battles, close quarters with strange horses and strange surroundings. Watson will have to show courage and bravery under Musket and rifle fire, and the one that gives me the shivers, the clang of sabers and swords. He will have to learn to live a different sort of confinement and a different sort of freedom.

Now some people, especially those who haven’t understood either the history or the idea of this sort of discipline for a horse may be under the misapprehension that only domestic horses were used in the US Cavalry. But the truth is that it was many specially up-bred mustangs improved with stallions from the Remount that were tough enough and resilient enough to have the endurance and battle savvy to carry the men into battle, especially in the West..

The infusion into some of the wild mustang herds with the blood of thoroughbreds, standardbreds, morgans and saddlebreds, improved the usability of the mustangs. These up graded mustangs were then rounded up as needed when aged at 2,3 or 4, selected according to height, color, and type then trained to carry men into battle and keep the peace.

The well bred stallions brought height, speed, refinement and in some cases a horse that was easy to sit for long times in the saddle. The Mustang offspring were savvy to different terrain, strong in limb and especially those hard mustang hooves, wild horses are known for. And one of the traits I admire most about the mustangs is because of their wild beginnings instead of learning to be co-dependent on  humans, they learned to think independently, on a horse level. This trait came in very handy at times to the men they were partnered with when in desperate situations.

I don’t want to sugar coat this and make it sound like a fairytale relationship. I had the opportunity to talk with quite a few old remount men who grew up and worked at the Front Royal, Virginia Remount, when I was a teenager. They didn’t use natural horsemanship then. Horses were shipped in at the rail head. A raw recruit  assigned 10 horses and  told to tack up the horse he was either handed or could catch and then lead the remaining nine horses the 5 miles to the Remount Station, through town and up the mountain. Some of the riders had barely been on a horse. Some of these horses had been shipped right off the range. One of the old timers told me once, “ If they didn’t know how to ride when they met the train, by the time they reached the Remount they had learned it quickly!”

The old way of training was rough and brutal on the horses as well as the men. The men and the horses sometimes were forced to learn together with only the riding sergeant as the experienced one. Some of the men demanded blind obedience from their men and horses and at times that didn’t bode well with either horses or men when battles of fear and will ensued.

The smart men learned quickly, from the horses and the riding sergeant, that a kind relationship got the best from the horse. The stubborn men in the field who couldn’t recognize the need for it often found themselves a foot.

Fortunately, Watson will never know the rough and rowdy training methods of the 1800s. He has a trainer who understands his nature and works with it, in Robert Carlson. His new owner is experienced and a wonderful “horseman” who knows how to challenge with a passionate love for the partnership of the horse. In several more months Watson will head to his new home in Virginia, ready to adjust to his new life with even more exciting challenges and a prospect of living out a full and happy life as a cherished  Happy Adopted Mustang.

Reference Photography by Amy Spivey of Lightning Bug Creek Photography. A special Thanks to Amy for some awesome reference shots.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Challenge Painting #165 : Orphan Foals Part 2 Kiger-Riddle Mountain Round-ups 2011

Part 2 The Ups and Downs of Fostering Wild Orphan Foals
By Volunteer Andi Harmon
4 by 6 inch watercolor on embossed paper
by Linda L Martin

Losing a foal is hard. I’ve not lost a lot but I have lost some.

“Angel” was one of the first orphans to come here. She had pneumonia and we just couldn’t kick it; she was about 3 weeks old when she died. “Trixie” was found on the range, abandoned by her herd, and trampled over a bunch of rocks. She was here for a few days; her last moments were spent in the spare bedroom on horse blankets, with an IV hanging from a bookshelf. I laid with her to keep her from thrashing around and pulling out the IV. Sadly, she was too injured internally to survive; I held her while she took her last breath, tears streaming.

“Buck” was another orphan we had and lost. He was born at the corrals and it appears he rolled under the fence at birth. When he was found, still wet, and put back, his dam refused him. We suspect he didn’t get his colostrum, the necessary “first milk” needed to build his immunity and insure his survival.

“Jasper” was an orphan from the Stinkingwater HMA that we lost. It was discovered by a rancher that the horse were eating some poisonous hemlock up by the reservoir. The entire HMA was gathered and several horses were near death or died later on at the corrals. The area was fenced off and sprayed; horses were returned when it was deemed safe.
Jasper was born at the corrals but his mother died when he was just a couple days old from the poison hemlock. It’s suspected Jasper was poisoned in the womb; he was on IV’s for 9-10 days, drinking milk, nibbling on a little hay when his system shut down and he passed. I suspect since his dam’s system was compromised from the poison, she wasn’t able to pass on the necessary antibodies the little guy needed to survive.

Each time we lost a foal, we would always say, “No more! Can’t do this again!” and then the BLM calls. And, of course, I go clean out a pen and get it ready for the next one that needs someone. It really *is* a good feeling when they not only survive, but thrive and go on to be useful members of society, bringing much happiness to the lives they touch. It makes the job, and the hours without sleep, worth it!

Sasha will be ready to adopt at Kiger
Fest 2011 in October. Photo Reference
provided by Andi Harmon
Used by permission

Out of 32 orphans, I’ve lost 6 for things beyond my control. That leaves 26 babies that have gone on (or will) to be the joy of someone’s life!

One such filly is “Karma”, a chocolate, or bay silver dapple from the Cold Springs HMA. She was slated to be returned to the wild with her dam and 2 other mares and foals, after their booster shots. When being brought in for their boosters, One of the other mares knocked Karma’s dam into a corner post and broke her hip, so Karma came to live with me. I ended up adopting her and later sold her to a friend on the other side of the country in NC.

Jill came out in 2007 to meet Karma, and had Kitty Lauman, a trainer here in Oregon, start her under saddle, then ship her back to NC. As luck would have it, Jill was unable to keep up with Karma’s training but a good friend of hers, Mike Branch, took her in his program. Mike does a lot of work with the BLM and kids back east and Karma has become quite the ambassador for the wild horses on the east coast! She’s now 6 years old and assists Mike in his clinics gentling horses and giving demonstrations on what these horses are capable of doing!

Another orphan I had 3 years ago was named “Red”. He was only a couple days old when he came here off the Beaty’s Butte HMA. He was a bottle baby and very loving and affectionate. We wanted to keep him but we were overwhelmed with horses and attempts to find an adopter for a plain little bay colt was not going well. We were forced to send him back to the corrals, halter broke, foot broke, trailer broke and dog gentle. I hoped someone would see that in him and grab him up!

Over 2 years went by and I had not heard of anyone adopting Red. Then, of Facebook, I got a message from a friend in the mid-west. They wanted to know if I had an orphan 3 years ago from Beaty’s Butte. Why yes, I did! The BLM staff had written on Red’s paperwork “Andi’s colt” in one corner and “Red” in the other corner. Red was at an adoption and a nice woman adopted him because he was just so cute and so friendly. She showed my friend her paperwork, idly wondering what the notations meant. Angela had a suspicion what it meant and emailed me. And the rest, as they say, is history! Red is in a happy home in Indiana, his owner got to see old photos and videos of Red as a foal and I get updates!

When I have orphans, I often get a lot of people interested in adopting one. Some are a little disappointed when they can’t just come out and take the foal but I have the first choice of adopting, and I also screen potential adopters more heavily than the BLM does. I want to make sure one of my babies that I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into are getting the best possible home! It’s paid off and I can say there are many babies who are enjoying their life as a formerly wild horse!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Challenge Painting #164 : Orphan Foals Part 1 Kiger-Riddle Mountain Round-ups 2011

Guest Blogger : My name is Andi Harmon; I have been a BLM volunteer for about 11 years now, helping at adoptions, taking photos and posting them on the Internet and helping to educate the public about the wild horses.
"Mariah and Hailey"
Orphan Kiger Foals from the 2011 Kiger round ups.
5 by 7 inch watercolor on embossed paper
by LindaLMartin Artist
 About 8 years ago, my late husband and I began caring for orphan foals. Since that time, to date, 32 foals have come down the driveway here! Orphans #30 (Mariah, gray Kiger filly, 1-2 months old), #31 (Hailey, grulla Kiger filly, 1-2 months old) and #32 (Sasha, dun Kiger filly, 1-2 months old) are currently taking up residence in one of my corrals!
 Raising orphans has been challenging, discouraging, heartbreaking, heartwarming, rewarding and educational! These babies have taught me SO much and have given back much more than I have given to them. It’s not an easy job, and the younger the babies, the tougher the job. I’ve had orphans as young as less than a day old; those feedings every 3-4 hours are HARD! Especially if you have a sick or injured foal. And, of course, they are wild and have NO clue what humans are all about and to have to force a bottle in their mouth several times a day for several days before they “get it” can be frustrating as well as scary! They simply MUST eat or they will die but it can be a battle to convince them of that little fact.
One of the things I learned about was stress. Foals are already stressed because they lost their dams. This makes them susceptible to ulcers and scours. In addition, if they are stressed, it makes them more susceptible to infections, as they aren’t as healthy as other foals on their dams. I like to give them probiotics the day they arrive to help settle their tummies right off the bat. The quicker they are gentled and accepting, the quicker they get over depression and stress and the better they will do all the way around.
With bottle babies, I try to get them on a “self-feeder” I made as soon as possible. It usually takes about a week for them to be drinking their milk well. Then I bring in the self-feeder, a large Igloo or Coleman water cooler, one of the 1-2 gallon ones with the spout on the bottom. I removed the spout, put in a piece of PVC pipe and sealed it, then put a nipple on the end of the pipe. I hang the cooler from the fence, full of milk, with the top vented. They can drink when they want and not have to gorge themselves at individual feedings 4-6 times a day (depending on the age) and it keeps them from getting pushy and trying to treat their human like a horse.
 One of the hardest things is discipline. A person works hard to gain the trust of these babies, so when they try to bite or kick or rear or run into you or whatever other disrespectful thing babies are wont to do, they must be corrected and disciplined. Oh, the first time a foal turned it’s little butt to me and attempted to kick and I had to smack it and send it off, I thought *I* was going to die! I know it’s for THEIR own good, as well as mine. No one likes a spoiled brat! But they understand and respect having boundaries and discipline; it’s a critical part of growing up! Doesn’t make it any easier on the one doling out the spankings though!
 Raising orphans has had other challenges as well. Sometimes, the foals won’t take to the milk replacer and get scours (diarrhea) which compromises their health greatly. I’ve had to experiment with different strengths in the formula, adding fresh or canned goat’s milk and adding all natural yogurt. The yogurt is a great thing to add to the milk, especially if a foal has scours or is on antibiotics for illness or injury. The antibiotics are necessary to combat infections but it also strips the tummy of the necessary nutrients. So the use of PRObiotics, while using ANTIbiotics, helps keep the stomach more stable in the young ones.
 I’ve found when babies get really sick, and it’s coupled with depression and stress, they sometimes give up. A “super B” vitamin shot can give a momentary relief, increasing the appetite and making the foal feel better in general. At that critical time, if you can get them on the “upswing”, they will usually pull out of their doldrums and come around. I remember one cold, snowy December with a sick orphan that was getting so weak from her ailments, she was unable to stand up on her own without the fear of crashing to the ground. For about 2-3 weeks, I spent every night in a stall with blankets, pillows and a heater to help “Sweetheart” to her feet every few hours so she could eat, drink and potty.
She wore a blanket and I had layers of clothes as well. I put down a heavy horse blanket on the floor of the stall on top of the shavings, and had 2 more old blankets to cover myself up with. Initially I brought out 1 pillow; after getting pushed and butted and kicked, I discovered 2 pillows was needed; one for me and one for Sweetheart. Did you know little orphan foals can snore VERY loudly? I’m happy to say Sweetheart is now 6 years old and living with her new family!
Monday Part 2: The Ups and Downs of Fostering Foals

Challenge Painting #163 : First Look Kiger-Riddle Mountain Round-ups 2011

"First Look"
4 by 6 inch Watercolor on embossed paper
by LindaLMartinArtist
According to JoAnna Lamb, the day they bring the horses in to the holding facility is a rest day for the horses. They are not forced in anyway. They are provided with food ( usually grass hay) and water. And are allowed to adjust to their circumstances in a larger pen.  Horses are not separated according to age for branding, and vetting until day two after they have had a chance to recover from capture and shipping to the facility. These particular horses are headed for the big adoption event called Kiger Fest where people from all over the country come just to purchase Kiger type wild mustang Horses. According to two  insiders there are  two Herds that have 100% adoption each year Kiger-Riddle Mountain horses with their distinct Spanish barb look and their primitive colors and the Pryor Mountain HMA horses.

Interestingly enough there have been documentaries, books, and lots of prime time news coverage on these two herds over the years. In addition armies of volunteers work getting the word out and help with the processing and special needs horses.

JoAnna Says that  not only is there 100% adoption but the only Kiger horses remotely destined for Long Term Holding are those that are taken off the range that are 25 years or older. Yet, even these aging Kiger horses are highly desired for adoption even though they are past their prime.

The Business model for the Kigers is one of success as far as the horses are concerned and could easily be adapted by any private support group local to any HMA. The result of the volunteers that help support the Kigers is : the demand is not flooded, the numbers remain healthy and sustainable on the range and they are high profile nationally known horses that are not merely nameless invisible horses lost in the shuffle, And every time the news media runs a documentary on them or tells their story they are recognized even by non horse people as special.
This sort of support helps keep the horses in the public eye while protecting it as well. What really makes the difference is the army of volunteers who work with the agencies administrating the Wild Mustangs to find piratical solutions that are in the end helpful in preserving both the history and the well being of the Wild Horses.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Challenge Painting #162 : Fresh off the Truck Kiger-Riddle Mountain Round-ups 2011

"Fresh off the Trailer"
4 by 6 inch Watercolor on embossed paper
by LindaLMartin Artist

This is the first of the series of paintings from Joanna Lamb's visit to the Holding Facility in Hines, Oregon during the Kiger and Riddle Mountain Round-ups of 2011. The roundups are held every 3 to 5 years to cull surplus horses off the Horse Management Areas and to remove horses that are domestic strays as well a to reduce the populations. According to the management authorities, reducing the populations of the wild horse herds helps to protect range environments and keeps the wild horses left on the range healthy.

Kigers and Riddle Mountain horses tend to be solid primitive colors with small spots of white on either their faces( usually a star) or their legs(usually socks not above the ankle). The most predominate colors are bay, grulla, and dun. There are also blacks and to my surprise grays. There are lots of arguments that these horses are some of the most pure in Spanish blood because of their remote locations. Others say that these horses were managed for color to make them more adoptable. 

They do have a distinct look that goes beyond the primitive coloring they have been cultivated toward.  Such a distinct look that some "horse collectors" decided to adopt them and start breeding programs using stallions and mares that were originally rounded up as wild.  The idea was to draw on their suspected historic significance while making them into a publicly special horse and hopefully build a market that would help adopt more and eventually make them successful to breed and train.

After training these domestic "Kigers" do have a certain ability to excel in several disciplines of riding including dressage, combined training and competitive trail riding. In addition they have been used successfully in all phases of farm/ranch work and horse show  competitions.

To read about other Kiger Horses I have painted Try these Links:
Challenge Painting # 54 Riddle Me Dino
Challenge Painting #80 Lieutenant North Star

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Adoptions "Back Scratchers" Challenge Painting #161

Amy Spivey of Lightning Bug Creek Photography's
24 year old Appy mare with her new Stinkwater HMA Filly
10 by 6 inches Watercolor on embossed paper
by LindaLMartin
Reference photography Provided by Amy Spivey Lightning Bug Creek Photography.
You can see more of her work on her facebook page:!/LBCPhotography

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Adoptions Mora's Story Part 2 Challenge Painting #160

Mora’s Story Part 2 
By Beth Cook
"Mora Restored"
5 by 7 Watercoor
How can you train a horse and not give them positive reinforcement from their back?”  Was I mad at Mora for throwing me, no.  But she’s since learned that pats on her neck are good and positive.  Granted, at that point she wasn’t easy to catch in an area she could run away from people in.  So I went and got Dusty, who amazingly she had become best buddies with within a short time, and I used Dusty to lure her close enough to catch her reins.  Cantering would take another six months for her to even think about doing.
Trailer loading was something we had to work on as I had been offered another teaching job on the Navajo reservation in Arizona and that meant relocating.  Let’s just say that is something she’s never going to be good at and leave it there.  We have a system and it works for us, but it’s not what anyone would call pretty.  It’s not exactly winching her in, but it’s close.  Actually she’s better now, once she gets her front feet in the second time, she will normally go the rest of the way in without a fight.  I’m sure she was only put in a trailer when she was sold from owner to owner and never taught how to load nicely.
As we were moving I figured I should probably see if I was even allowed to own her and I called BLM.  Amazingly I had read her freezemark pretty accurately.  The lady I spoke to was able to come up with her papers within fifteen minutes of me calling.  Note to BLM:  When a horse has a thin white stripe right where you would normally put the freezemark, move it down half an inch!  I had to literally shave Mora bald in order to read her freezemark.  I didn’t know at that time about HMA’s so all I know is she is from Nevada, was two when she was rounded up in 1997.
Fast forward to April 2010.  Mora and I were out on a ride and she bolted.  Now I’m used to her cantering, but I hadn’t asked for it.  She stuck her mouth straight up in the air and there was nothing I could do to get her head back down.  Nor would she turn, nor would she slow down.  Well, until we hit the mud puddle, and then she only slowed down to a trot.  It was almost a mile before I could get her stopped and got off.  I had ridden it out, but I wasn’t about to get back on her with my legs and arms being jelly.  I actually had a vet appointment for her and Dusty four days later, so I figured I would ask the vet about this bolting thing then.
So four days later we loaded up, with Mora’s normal tantrum, and headed off.  Mora had lost weight over the winter and that was what the appointment was for, to try and rule out any physical causes.  As I had no idea when Mora’s teeth were last floated and that was one of the things she had done.  When her mouth was opened the vet tech said, “Wow!  That’s a huge scar across her tongue.”  Needless to say I asked for clarification.  Mora’s tongue was almost severed in half it seems as the scar goes all the way across.  I can only surmise that at some point someone had a harsh bit and a heavy hand and thought that would cure her of her issues.  Instead, she learned how to throw her head and avoid the bit entirely making her even more dangerous for the next person.
From everything I can guess at I would say Mora has never spent more than a year or so with any one owner.  They all bought her because she’s beautiful and thought there was a quick fix for what issues she had.  Unfortunately no one ever solved any of her issues and just added more before selling her to the next owner.
The flipside of all her issues is, one look and you can tell she wants to be a good horse.  If she does something wrong now, she turns and faces me and says she’s sorry with her head down.  In the last two weeks she’s started seeking me out from time to time so I can give her kisses and hugs.  And she’s letting other people give her pets without being caught and haltered.  She may or may not let me walk up to her in the arena or pasture still, but at least she’s not bolting away if I get too close, she just walks away.  She has her forever home with me and I think after two and a half years with me, she’s finally learning to trust that I’m not going to get rid of her any time soon.  And I will work through her issues as they arise.  I know I don’t know everything to help her, but I’m willing to ask whatever questions I need to and learn what I can to make her as happy as possible.